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Never Forgotten

Dear Friends,

While on a 8-hour flight a couple of days ago, I carefully read the book of Ecclesiastes, and It impacted me like never before.

Repeatedly, Solomon tried various ways of making his life meaningful and fulfilling. Hard work, roaring financial success, building homes and massive real estate projects, becoming wise, entertainment, lots of wives and concubines, enjoying the power of being king . . . the list goes on and on.

Solomon then compared every one of these fleshly pursuits with the inescapable truth that all of us die and will be forgotten in just a few generations—whether we are wise or foolish, rich or poor, powerful or powerless.

And his conclusion, I think, communicated with a sense of quiet Continue reading Never Forgotten

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Toothpaste in the Sink

I know this happens to all of us, but isn’t it frustrating when you start your day by brushing your teeth, and just before you put the toothbrush in your mouth, the fresh dollop of toothpaste falls right off the brush and into the sink?  Sometimes, especially when my eyes aren’t fully open, I’ll be brushing my teeth, thinking I’m accomplishing a necessary morning task, only to realize after I’ve spent a couple of minutes or more brushing away, that the toothpaste is in the sink!  So I get to start all over again.

It dawned on me that my spiritual life can sometimes reflect “toothpaste in the sink”.  If I read scripture faithfully and have a morning devotion, but I don’t take the time to make sure that the passage that I’ve read is applied to some area of my life, I really haven’t accomplished very much.  In James 1:22-25, it says (my editorial comment in italics)

“But prove yourselves doers of the word (keep the toothpaste on the brush), and not merely hearers who delude themselves (you think you’re brushing your teeth, but you’re really not).  For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror; for once he has looked at himself and gone away, he has immediately forgotten what kind of person he was (and he failed to see the toothpaste in the sink).  But the one who looks intently at the perfect law, the law of liberty, and abides by it, not having become a forgetful hearer but an effectual doer, this man shall be blessed in what he does (there is no toothpaste in the sink and his teeth are really clean!).

All kidding aside, just as we know that toothpaste of today has all sorts of additives that are beneficial for our oral health (fluoride, baking soda, mouthwash, flavoring, peroxide, etc.) God’s Word is beneficial for our spiritual health.  But if the Word is left in the sink, it does us no good whatsoever.  When we read the Bible, do we ask ourselves “What am I to learn from this passage and how can I apply it to my life?” or do we go through the motions, check off the box that I did my Bible reading for the day, and get on with the day’s activities?  To keep the toothpaste from falling off the brush, we might need to press a little harder and make sure that the paste has fully infiltrated the bristles, because that’s where it will do us the most good.  God’s Word needs to be pressed down and become intertwined with our very being.   If it’s not, we’re just hearers and not doers.

Check out the sink the next time you brush your teeth – then ask yourself if your spiritual life reflects any similarities.

Jim Whorton

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Jim Whorton is an Executive Director for Compass – finances God’s Way.  Jim and his wife, Christy, serve the Florida, Georgia and Alabama areas.

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Joy and Happiness

“The less I spent on myself and the more I gave to others, the fuller of happiness and blessing did my soul become.”

 -Hudson Taylor

As I’ve been talking with folks throughout the last several months there is usually one of several topics that come up; the economy, the stock market, the unemployment rate or the national debt. If I were to describe the feelings and emotions of the people I have talked to the words joy & happiness probably would not be used.

As a follower of Jesus I know through John 10:10 that Jesus comes to give life and life to the fullest and that the thief comes to steal, kill and destroy. When my joy and happiness is regulated by the economy, the stock market, the national debt, etc then I am letting the thief “win”. We should always be aware of what is going on in our world and country but that awareness shouldn’t dictate how we feel throughout our daily lives- our relationship with Jesus should dictate that.

There are many ways to spiritually combat “the things that steal, kill and destroy”; being in Christian community and being in God’s word on a regular basis are two examples. As I came across Hudson Taylor’s quote this morning I found another one- focusing less on me and giving more to the needs of others. Through my giving journey I have always experienced joy but until now I had never thought of it as a way to combat the “thief”. What a great and practical way to experience the joy of the one who gives us life to the fullest!

I pray that if you are struggling to find joy and happiness in your life that you will look to Jesus- the one who created joy, created happiness and is the giver of fullness of life.

God Bless, Kyle

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Kyle Hasbrouck is the Vice President of Compass – finances God’s way.

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Lessons from Deborah

Lessons I Learned from the life of Deborah

Recently, I began a study on the women of the Bible. One of the women I would like to emulate is Deborah, so let me share a few highlights from her story with you. The life of Deborah is recorded in Judges 4-5.

Background

Deborah, the wife of Lippidoth, is among one of the outstanding women of history. She was a prophetess who heard from God and believed him. As a prophetess, she encouraged the people to follow God. She was the only female judge of Israel and the leader of the nation. She was responsible for leading Israel in battle against the Canaanites. While Deborah was described in Judges 4:4 as a prophetess, the wife of Lappidoth, she described herself as “a mother of Israel” (Judges 5:7).

Deborah was a wise leader and was known for her prophetic power. She loved the Lord and the people of Israel. She was a great mediator, adviser and counselor. She had great leadership skills, a remarkable relationship with God, and she was faithful.

Lessons Learned

Some of the lessons I learned from Deborah’s life are:

  • God can accomplish great things through people who are willing to be led by him
  • Wise leaders surround themselves with the right people
  • She was concerned about people, not just her success
  • Whenever people praised her she acknowledged that all the glory belongs to God.

Application to my life

Studying the life of Deborah has allowed me to seriously evaluate my life, my purpose and my calling. I have asked the Lord to help me to be the godly wife, mother and leader like Deborah. As I serve in the ministry, I pray that God will equip me with the godly characteristics and leadership qualities that she possessed in order to fulfill his purpose for my life.

I’ll continue to seek God’s guidance in every decision I make and to totally rely on him. My greatest desire is to allow him to:

  1. Develop in me the characteristics that Deborah demonstrated.
  2. Grant me an unwavering commitment to do his will
  3. Help me to do whatever it takes to strengthen and encourage others
  4. Give me the wisdom to make sound judgment and to offer counsel that guide individuals toward faithfulness and obedience in the area of biblical financial stewardship, and ultimately into a closer relationship with Christ.

May this be your heart’s desire also!

Yvonne Mitto

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Yvonne Mitto is the Executive Director for Compass, covering the New England area.  To find out more about Yvonne and ministry taking place in the New England area, please visit Compass – New England and New York State.

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Second Chance

About a year ago, Danielle and I bought a new home. There were many things we were excited about with this new home but one of the coolest things was the 1 Year Home Warranty. If anything broke we didn’t have to pay a dime to fix it!

Well, today is one year later, and the final walk through with the home builder to fix anything that may be potentially wrong inside or outside the house. We came up with a list of even the smallest details for them to fix before our warranty expires. This ultimately is our last chance to have anything that needs to be fixed on the house for free- so we really want to get it right!

As I was writing out the list of things that may (or may not) need to be repaired it made me thankful that God doesn’t give us just one chance to get things right. We serve and love a God of second chances. This especially true in how we handle what the Lord has entrusted us with financially. No mistake, no mishap and no sense of defeat is too big for the Lord. As Christ followers we always have an opportunity to experience forgiveness and a second chance.

I pray that you experience the God of second chances in a remarkable way today!

God Bless, Kyle

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Kyle Hasbrouck is the Vice President of Compass – finances God’s way. For more information about Kyle, please click HERE.

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Jealousy

“You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God…”

Exodus 20:5

I always love it when I come across scripture that describes God with emotions that I experience. It affirms in me that my relationship with the Lord is just that- a relationship. It’s a real relationship- with peaks and valleys and with strengths and weaknesses and with a variety of emotions.

As I came across this verse in Exodus it made me realize how often I probably make the Lord jealous. The biggest way I do this is through lack of contentment. When wants suddenly phase into needs. Before today I don’t think I ever thought of God being jealous. But for some strange reason, I like it. I like that I have a relationship with a God who cares and loves me enough that when other things become a priority over Him it truly affects him.

Jealousy is an emotion that I have never been too fond of experiencing personally. It stirs up suspicion, rivalry, and resentment. If I don’t enjoy feeling this way, I’m pretty sure God doesn’t either. I have learned over the years that the antidote for jealousy in my life has always been gratitude. The more grateful I am for God’s provision in my life, the less jealous I become and the less jealous He becomes. I always love a win-win situation!

I pray that you experience the Lord in a great way this week and with a spirit of gratitude for all He has done for you and yours!

God Bless, Kyle

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Kyle Hasbrouck is the Vice President of Compass – finances God’s way. For more information about Kyle, please click HERE.

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9-1-1 Available 24/7

As I was reflecting this morning during my time with the Lord, this quote stuck in my mind; ‘even a 5 year old child knows the significance of the telephone number 9-1-1. It’s the magical number that unlocks incredible lifesaving resources in a matter of seconds’! Those threatened with difficult circumstances only need to dial 9-1-1.

King David and all the other great leaders in the Bible understand that God was their help in times of need. He is never unavailable. He has infinite power and authority. He desires to provide help and security and He is ever present!

Psalm 72:12-14 tells us that ‘God will deliver the needy when they cry out, the afflicted who have no one to help. He will take pity on the weak and needy and save the needy from death. He will rescue them from oppression and violence for precious is their life in His sight!’ 

Deuteronomy 31:6 encourages us; ‘Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you, He will never leave you or forsake you’! 

Jeremiah 33:3 ‘Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.’

Today, you and I will probably use our mobile phones on a number of occasions – hopefully not to dial 9-1-1. As we do so, let’s see our phone as a physical reminder that the unseen God of the Universe is always available and is totally prepared to handle any and every situation!

Staying connected!
Dave

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Dave Rae is the President and Managing Director of Global Operations of Compass – finances God’s way. For more information about Dave, please click HERE